"Concert Reviews"

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The Almighty Ultrasound/The Hunger
Silver Dollar Saloon, Lansing, MI
December 10, 1996

The Almighty Ultrasound and The Hunger at the Silver Dollar: This was a great chance to catch a couple great up and coming "alternative" (I hate that term) acts in a club atmosphere because if this show was any indication, these bands will be hittin' the bigger venues real soon. The "Almighties" unbelievably sounded every bit as solid as their CD indicated. The same great production and "wall of sound." I was very impressed and glad to catch them in a cozy atmosphere. The Hunger headlined the show and were equally impressive, though I'm not as enthused with their style. This show benefited from a great sound, and I think those in attendance were fortunate to catch them when we did, as it's hard to maintain the energy in the large arenas these bands seem destined for.

- Shane Copher

Reba McEntire
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
November 8, 1996

Where Rush played host to the arena's first rock concert, Reba, the reigning "Queen of Country," played host as the first major country show at the Van Andel. And there was no better choice indeed for this honor. Reba is the Queen, no doubt about it. If country fans have accused Garth Brooks of being to much rock at times, what do they call a Reba concert?

This is one lady who knows how to give her audience a spectacle to remember, with a stage show that puts most rock acts to shame, combining part Vegas show with back up singers, dancers, and a half dozen costume changes. Then the leading lady puts it all together with truck loads of lights, sound equipment, and stage props that would make even Peter Gabriel proud.

The show begins with video footage of her flying in her private jet, then as it lands, Reba rolls onto the stage in a smaller plastic replica of the same plane. But she has no need for all the props because she is an incredible performer. She's a lady who makes sure her fans leave 100% satisfied that they got their money's worth and more, whether it be by using an AIDS quilt during the song "She Thinks His Name Was John," video footage of her parents before "The Greatest Man I Never Knew," or using the equalled talents of vocalist Linda Davis during their number one duet, "Does He Love You."

Reba knows how to use her talents and the theatrics around her to their fullest. And even if you're not truly a country fan, Reba can still promise to be an intense great time to see if your lucky enough to get tickets to one of her always-a-sell-out shows, as were the 11,000 who bought out this night.

- Micheal Fuller

The Verve Pipe
The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
December 30, 1996

A sold-out show with 1,600 fans witnessing a great show by a great band. Back from their European tour opening for Kiss, the group looked as fresh as could be. The nearly two hour show consisted of 19 songs ending with "Strawberry Fields." Brian's powerful and distinct voice was most enjoyable all evening. The group had a perfect audience contact. Songs were played from all three of their CDs. The audience was blown away halfway through the show with "Photograph." Shortly thereafter, everyone was treated to "The Freshmen" and "Cup of Tea." "Cup of Tea" became an audience sing-along. All in all, an excellent performance with a very good video show behind the band. Good going, guys!

- Tom DeMann

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